Loftier musings on (my) atheism/atheists..
When discussing pseudoscience and illogical thought I should probably do so in the larger sense, not keeping it specifically related to atheism, as I’m on shaky ground when I talk about atheists and what they believe as a collective, and, granted, these concepts generally apply to most people. I’m going to however, attempt to have a dummy spit at atheists.
It is important to note, that atheism, and being an atheist, does not necessarily enail that you are logical, scientific, apply appropriate skepticism or can’t be duped by unsubstantiated nonsense. What pitfalls I see some atheists falling into is that of conspiracy theories (caused by confirmation bias, selectivity of evidence) and sometimes alternative medicine etc.
This is disappointing, but to my theist readers I’d have you know, I would and do go after atheists for their conspiracy theory nonsense (and faulty reasoning in general), perhaps even more so and with greater ridicule than my theist counterparts (in fact that feels like I all I do these days).
Why? I personally want my atheism to be a result, not a method, based on my search of the evidence/arguments, viewed in the light, and application of, science, reason, logic etc (my method is methodological naturalism?). I (try to) use applied skepticism (as opposed to skepticism as a worldview), I evaluate arguments and evidence, for all the things I accept (and things I don’t), within reason of course. It irks me when others don’t, theist and atheist alike.
9/11 truthers, anti-vaxxers, Obama birthers, homeopathy and alternative medicine proponents, Zeitgeist movie promoters, world government (run by the Jewish folk of course) conspiracy theorists (etc), I hang my head in shame. Of course I remind myself that there’s nothing in atheism that says an atheist should be immune to woo, but, if the “Gnu Atheism” (re: the popularisation of atheism; which isn’t to say I agree with all of the “Gnu Atheist” positions on matters of religion, and certainly not so on matters of politics) has done anything, it’s promoted a skeptical outlook, that values standards of evidence, confirmation, verification, reason, secularism, a refusal to accept religious authority (applied, prescriptive traits as opposed to absolute worldviews). And you certainly see many of the aforementioned credulous atheists have (selectively) read “Gnu Atheist” text, as they seem to mistake an appropriate ridicule of certain religious notions (while still respecting the individual), as the main point and message and missing the fact that the authors are also pushing for Enlightenment and naturalistic principles (see Victor Stenger’s book, The New Atheism pp-11-17, and Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion, Paperback Edition pp-13-30 for some of that message). You end up having angry people, however justifiably so, with a basic understanding of their worldview but not enough of their epistemology worked out, that they can’t avoid, well, boulderdash.
It might be worth mentioning something about epistemology and how one can go about discerning truth from falsity, but I fear that’s a long and involved post, perhaps I’ll get started on that?
- What is an Atheist? (anythingbuttheist.blogspot.com)
- Judaism Has its Own Angry Atheists… (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- The Archbishop of Canterbury is Right: Atheists *Are* Cool (patheos.com)
- Angry Atheism is a ‘Boys Club’, and a Religion (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Atheists are Differently Religious – and No, Atheism is not the/a Religion (theframeproblem.wordpress.com)